Many Manchester City fans have been reacting on social media to reports by Italian broadcaster Sport Mediaset, via SempreInter, claiming Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte is open to swapping defender Milan Skriniar for Citizens ace forward Gabriel Jesus.
Conte is believed to be confident the Nerazzurri hierarchy will back his plans for strong reinforcements during the summer transfer window, having recently demanded new signings in order to ‘win now’ after complaining about the mentality of his current squad.
The former Chelsea head coach has an expensive shortlist in mind, however, thus Conte is willing to ‘make difficult sacrifices’ in order to fund his spending spree, which could see striker Lautaro Martinez and midfielder Marcelo Brozovic join Skriniar in leaving Inter this summer.
Reports of Conte touting Skriniar as a potential makeweight in a deal for Jesus to leave the Etihad Stadium has not sat well with large corners of the Sky Blues fanbase, with many feeling that the 31-cap Croatia international is not of the standard needed for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Skriniar has been on the books of Inter Milan since a summer 2017 transfer from Sampdoria and has since amassed 122 appearances for the Nerazzurri across all competitions, including 27 in the current Serie A campaign of which all have come in the starting line-up.
The £43.2million-rated centre-half can often be rash, though, with Conte having been forced to tackle four league fixtures this season without Skriniar as a result of suspensions, after seeing the 25-year-old pick up five cautions by January before seeing red against Sassuolo in June.
Would you swap Jesus for Skriniar?
Skriniar has been shown a total of eight yellow cards over his 27 Serie A outings this term, including the second caution which led to his sending off, while averaging 1.3 successful tackles from 1.9 attempts per 90 minutes, according to WhoScored data, plus 0.9 interceptions, 2.9 clearances, won 1.3 of 2.5 aerial duels and played 67.2 passes of which an average 62.0 have found teammates.
As for Jesus, the Brazilian is closing in on his 100th Premier League appearance for Manchester City following 99 outings for the Sky Blues, in which he has struck 39 goals and penned 19 assists.
The current top-flight campaign has seen the 23-year-old awarded the most minutes for a single season with 1,769 and counting while netting 12 times, compared to his prior-best of 1,671 minutes during the 2017/18 term in which he scored 13 goals.
Here are some of the messages shared as fans reacted to Sport Mediaset’s report…
Inter Milan should understand that we’re not interested in a Defender so we can weaken our attack, or give up a player who we have invested a lot of patience, time, money in.
If you don’t want to sell, spit it. https://t.co/u3lA2GDvsx
— Mike (@GeniusKDB) July 12, 2020
Not a chance https://t.co/hnDvFioRJA
— M▲TTY SMITH (@mattysmithmcfc) July 12, 2020
Would genuinely be the worst swap deal ever https://t.co/EciHZ1qHeq
— Kavin🇮🇳🇧🇪 (@KavinDeBruyne17) July 13, 2020
Otamendi is better than that skriniar dude, I don’t know why we are even linked to him. https://t.co/6P8xZ45BAa
— Dr Dre (@theoking2097) July 12, 2020
While vast amounts of Manchester City supporters were against the idea of swapping Skriniar for Jesus, there are some who would back the potential deal as it would save the Etihad Stadium natives from spending big on a new centre-half, while creating an opening for a new centre-forward to arrive.
I’d like that very much https://t.co/Z1lb0HEyUD
— owen reardon (@OwenReardon99) July 12, 2020
To be clear I proper rate Jesus but if we do this and use the money to sign a taller CF I’m all for it!
Save money on the CB and go all in for Haaland https://t.co/ruiZXKkbzo
— MCFC Tnarrat (@la_tarrant) July 12, 2020
It would be beneficial for both teams https://t.co/dCMpaSwWqP
— A (@MidfieldM8estro) July 12, 2020
The overriding feeling after the Citizens fanbase appears to be against a move for Skriniar, though, as ‘creating one problem to solve another’ would not be a ‘good strategy’ as one supporter noted.
creating one problem to solve another is not a good strategy https://t.co/mRgeHFnvJv
— Rob (@Razza_7) July 12, 2020